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The Surrounding

Kilometric distances from the main towns
Lucca - 89 Km
Pisa - 91 Km
Firenze - 163 Km

From the Tusco-Emilian Apennines to the coast, is an area to be roamed, discovered and savoured for a quality holiday in harmony with the natural world.
The Via Francigena (known In English as the Frankish Route), one of the oldest (first cited by Sigeric, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 994) and, for centuries, most-travelled routes to Rome, bears witness to the passage of pilgrims, merchants and armies in the form of castles, baptismal churches and walled towns that still mark an unspoilt, and almost impregnable, natural landscape.
Castles and ruins of castles, Romanesque baptismal and other churches, mediaeval towns and patrician buildings follow each other thick and fast in a journey that holds out thrills and excitement throughout Lunigiana. The accommodation and amenities are no less of a revelation: summer and winter sports facilities, spa treatments and opportunities for trekking and cave tours alternate with local customs and traditions to enhance the tourist attractions of a tongue of land poised between mountains and sea, flanked by Liguria's Cinque Terre and Tuscany's heritage cities and surrounded by unspoilt countryside.

The area’s many places hold out countless opportunities for excursions and fascinating tours. We can highlight the following in brief:
A patrician city In eastern Lunigiana. After being ruled by the Malaspina family, it was incorporated Into the Florentine Republic. Worth a visit: the Medicean walls; the old town centre with its square and Medicean fountain; the baroque Oratory of St. Charles (17th century); the church of Saints James and Anthony (14th century): mediaeval font bearing the truncated cross, symbol of the Knights of the Tau; the Convent of St. Augustine (14th century); the Convent of the Carmine. Nearby: Verrucola castle and village; the Frignoli Botanical Gardens (0585 949688); Pieve S. Paolo: Vendaso baptismal church (8th-12th century); Gragnola and the Castello dell'Aquila (Eagle's Castle); Arlia and its ancient mill (0187 422598).

Equi Terme
An ancient village set against the background of the Appuan Alps. Worth visiting: the Equi Caves (0585 942122), an underground tour; the spa (0585 949300) with its highly esteemed sulphurous waters; the Regional Nature Reserve of the Appuan Alps (visitors' centre 0585 97544): the Solco (gorge) of Equi brings you straight onto the ancient Marble Route. Nearby: Vinca, famous for its bread.

Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre is an Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. “The Five Lands” comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Over the centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. The Cinque Terre area is a very popular tourist destination.
There are few roads into the Cinque Terre towns that are accessible by car, and the one into Vernazza in particular is now open (June 2012 - but very narrow at many repair spots) to a parking area leading to a 1/2 mile walk to town after the October 2011 storm damage. It is best to plan not to travel by car at all but to park at La Spezia, for instance, and take the trains.
Local trains from La Spezia to Genova and the rest of the region’s network connect the “five lands”. Intercity trains also connect the Cinque Terre to Milan, Rome, Turin and Tuscany. The tracks run most of the distance in tunnels between Riomaggiore and Monterosso.
A passenger ferry runs between the five villages, except Corniglia. The ferry enters Cinque Terre from Genova’s Old Harbour and La Spezia, Lerici, or Porto Venere.
Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre was set up to conserve the ecological balance, protect the landscape, and safeguard the anthropological values of the location. Nevertheless, the dwindling interest in cultivation and maintenance of the terrace walls posed a long-term threat to the site, which was for this reason included in the 2000 and 2002 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund.
Lerici, the ancient “Erice”, was the centre of conflicts between the Maritime Republics of Genoa and Pisa. Along with this wonderful landscape, a source of inspiration for many artists, poets and writers, many admirable constructions still remain from the past. The castle for example, situated on the highest point of the bay and nowadays restored into a Geopaleontological museum, or the walls embracing the ancient centre. Surely worth a visit is the Gothic Santa Anastasia chapel, as well as the hexagonal tower. Relaxing with the view of “Venere Azzurra bay” at sunset in San Terenzo is the perfect way to close the day in one of the pearls of the Gulf of the Poets.
Picturesque village established in Roman times, built on a rocky crag overlooking the emerald-green sea and framed by three islands: Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, which weave their charming spell on everyone. The legend has it that the “Goddess of Beauty” herself was enchanted by this magnificent place. The recommended places to visit are: Saint Peter’s church (1277), built on the promontory, which can be reached by walking through the village, Byron’s Cove, the Doria castle and the church of Saint Laurence. Let yourself enjoy the fresh seafood in one of the many restaurants in the thousand colours of the quay.
Besides the cultural tourism, the Sarzana territory also riserves the possibility to enjoy the closeness to the sea, as the hamlet of Marinella hosts several bathing establishments. It is a sandy coastline, approximately 3 kilometres, along which free beaches alternate with those licensed to privates. The Sarzana coast is known and appreciated both because it is easy to reach, and because of the nearness of the most important urban centres of the area. At walking distance, you can visit Luni, an archaeological area particularly notable for the ruins its great Amphitheatre and the Archaeological National Museum which displays nds discovered locally. Don’t miss a visit to Sarzana with its medieval atmosphere.
Situated on the border between Liguria and Tuscany, in the municipally of Ortonovo (La Spezia) along the banks of the Magra river, is Luni, an ancient Italian town, founded in the early second century B.C.. The town rose the popularity during the Roman period as a port from which the ship would sail off loaded with marble from the Apuans Alps. The archaeological excavations have allowed light to be shed on the major urban development stages of the town, which cleary shows castrum (military camp) plan with Decumanus Maximus consisting of the via Aurelia and Cardus Maximus connecting the forum with the port area. The amphitheatre can be dated back to the age of the Antonines. Still remaining from the medieval period are St Mark’s crypt (8-9 cent.), the bell tower and apsidal section of St. Mark’s cathedral in the Romanesque style. We recommend a visit to the archaeological museum, built in 1964, which is located in the archaeological area of the old city centre of Luni, hosting excavation lands of ancient Roman town.
Pietrasanta is part of Versilia, on the last foothills of the Apuan Alps, about 32 km north of Pisa. The town is located 3 km off the coast (where the frazione of Marina di Pietrasanta is located).
The Pietrasanta Marina, with golden sand and luxurious equipments is considered one of the best beaches of Italy.
The town has Roman origins and part of the Roman wall still exists.
Forte dei Marmi
Forte dei Marmi is a sea town and comune in the province of Lucca, in northern Tuscany (Italy). It is the birthplace of Paola Ruffo di Calabria, Queen of the Belgians from 1993 to 2013.
Tourism is the principal activity of Forte dei Marmi’s citizens. The population of the town, amounting to some 7,700, nearly triples during the summer, because of the hundreds of tourist who mainly come from Florence, Milan, Germany, and Russia.
The city contains a gate built in a former bog, a historical artifact that relates to strategic planning by the ancient Roman army.